Happy almost Summer! One of the things that I love most about Summer locally in our area is that The Shrimp Connection is back in full swing!
If you are not familiar with The Shrimp Connection, then you are truly missing out on a real treat! Because of Landon Wilder, the founder & owner of this fabulous seafood company which started in 2001, I have a definite keeper of a menu to share with you for this upcoming Memorial Day weekend…An Easy Summer Holiday Seafood Menu…
But, first, a little about Landon & The Shrimp Connection…
Landon & I met about 15 months ago & he has been truly supportive of my blogging and Entertaining is Easy as a website, & I am grateful for that! Most importantly, he carries, as he calls it, radically fresh seafood, and his seafood from the NC coast (& a few other locations) is among the best seafood I have ever had! His sources at the coast provide him with the best quality seafood that he, in turn, provides to us as consumers. The success of my seafood recipes and menus are due to the high quality of fish & shellfish Landon provides…he is truly a jewel…he works hard & it shows!
Just so you know, The Shrimp Connection has locations in High Point (Swedebread Organic Farm Market), Colfax (Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market), Summerfield (Summerfield Farms) & Lake Norman (Josh’s Farmers Market)…so there are multiple places where you can purchase fabulous seafood! You cannot miss his “stands”…the guys who work on Fridays & Saturdays…& some Sundays…are also quite knowledgeable…you can preorder as well! I like to get my orders done by Thursday for Friday or Saturday pick-up, so click on this link to get your seafood for preparing this Easy Summer Holiday Seafood Menu!
OK…so let’s talk about this menu. Recently, Landon contacted me & wanted me to try North Carolina Hybrid Striped Bass. Rather than making this blog too long, I will provide you with the link in case you would like to read on the subject…I found it quite interesting. Then again, my all-time favorite fish is striper, so of course, I liked the article. Whether you read the article or not, I am here to tell you that Hybrid Striped Bass is delish! Seriously.
Bert & Émilie actually prepared this dish as I was on call…& I was called. Pan Seared Striped Bass with Tomato Salsa is truly quick & easy…it took them less than 30 minutes from start to finish to create the dish, which was great! Bert pan seared the striped bass “skin side down” which became deliciously crispy, then covered & “poached” the fish in its juices…the striped bass was moist & flavorful. The tomato salsa, created by Émilie, was simply grape tomatoes, minced garlic & red onion, combined with a smidge of olive oil & a few cilantro leaves. The combination of the tomatoes with the striped bass was not only scrumptious, but it was beautiful as well, don’t you agree?
For side dishes, we made Cilantro Mashed Potatoes…homemade cilantro pesto was added to hot buttery Yukon Gold potatoes & mashed together…in one word, yum! We also roasted asparagus in Meyer lemon butter…the Meyer Lemon zest really brightens the asparagus. Both dishes paired beautifully with the striped bass. I highly recommend this combination, especially with all the fresh cilantro & asparagus currently being harvested…both flavors are at their peaks!
For our starter course, I pan seared sea scallops…yep, from Landon & the scallops are the BEST!!! I decided to take a bit of a shortcut, though…I bought Pineapple Mango Salsa from Whole Foods Market, added avocado, jalapeño & fresh lime juice, and served this “doctored up” salsa with the scallops. Again…easy-to-make, quick…& really, really good.
Lastly, dessert…sadly, Landon does not carry summer fruits…just think of all the one-stop shopping we could do if he carried produce as well! Anyhoo, right now, nothing beats strawberry & rhubarb. My favorite summer fruit dessert to make is a crostata, because it is so quick & easy to make. Émilie & I therefore decided that a Strawberry Rhubarb Crostata would be the perfect dessert to complement this easy summer holiday seafood menu. Émilie made the entire dessert herself, I am proud to say! She did a great job, & again, it took minutes to prepare. All you need is a little whipped cream for serving, & you are set!
I hope you enjoy my newest menu…the flavors are fresh & all three dishes are so simple to prepare. If you are entertaining this weekend, & thinking about something light, you may really enjoy this easy summer holiday seafood menu. If you do live near one of Landon’s Shrimp Connection locations, please stop by, get some radically fresh seafood, & tell the boys I sent you! You will not be disappointed…I promise! Happy Memorial Day! Cheers!